Delores “Dee” Jean Stephen passed away peacefully, with family, on October 26, 2023, at the age of 90. Despite being under home hospice care since February due to a failing heart, Dee was able to enjoy her lifelong loves of family, nature (especially flowers and birds), and reading up until her death.
Dee was born on April 5, 1933, in Guernsey County to Tim and Golden (Fischer) Starr, the fifth of eight children. Dee graduated from Somerton High School in 1951 and married Ken Stephen on August 25, 1952. The couple moved to Knox Lake in 1956 where they raised their five children Cathy (Gregory) Wilson, Mike (Debra) Stephen, Christy (Dave) Rigg, Kim (Jim) Giles, and Shaun (Melinda) Stephen, who survive and deeply miss her, as do her twelve grandchildren and twenty great-grandchildren. Dee was also a “second mother” to her little brother Dan.
Dee and Ken operated the Southside Marina for many years and, although most do not know this because of her humility, Dee may have been the best “fisherman” in the Stephen family, having hauled in many bass over 6 pounds. For over twenty years after Ken’s death, Dee continued to find joy in drives around Knox Lake, the beauty of changing seasons, and quietly observing the antics of cats, dogs, birds, and wildlife of any kind. Dee was a member of the Fredericktown United Methodist Church and, as an avid gardener, was also a long and active member of the Fredericktown Garden Club. A voracious reader, Dee was still reading 2 or 3 books a week during her time in hospice.
Those who knew Dee, even briefly, recognized that she truly was as sweet as she was petite. Dee had opinions, even strong ones, and as a loyal Democrat was a poll worker in Berlin Township until her health prevented it. Yet her spirit of kindness, gentleness, and goodness guided her words and actions, so Dee always avoided cross words and confrontation, even when it came to politics and religion.
Dee was a loving mother and faithful friend, always available with a patient ear and comforting word. Still, she had a special place in her heart for little children. Dee lit up at the sight of infants and toddlers, most recently being entertained for hours by her great-granddaughter, and she contributed faithfully to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital for decades.
The family is holding a private graveside service on November 3, 2023, at 11:00 AM at Forest Cemetery in Fredericktown, with arrangements through Snyder Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. www.stjude.org
To send the family a condolence online visit: www.snyderfuneralhomes.com
The Snyder Funeral Home Is honored to serve the family of Delores “Dee” Jean Stephen.
Funeral Home: Snyder Funeral Home – Fredericktown
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